Tracey Bartley is the first to admit he’s a very lucky man.
The Wyong-based trainer is recovering at home after spending the past two weeks in hospital being treated for serious injuries he sustained after being kicked by a horse.
Bartley received life threatening internal injuries and underwent five procedures during his time at Royal North Shore Hospital to control bleeding to his spleen, liver and kidneys.
He was in intensive care for the majority of his stay in hospital and while he expects to make a full recovery, he knows it’s a long road ahead.
“I’m just very weak and I have to take it slow and steady,” he said. “I’m lucky because they were able to save all my organs and in time I will be back to normal.
“For now, I’m watching from the sidelines which is very frustrating when you’re used to being on the go all the time. I walked down the back to feed one yesterday and I was exhausted, so I know I’ve got to take my time.”
Bartley was rugging horses in a paddock behind his home on March 19 when he was kicked by his mare Compassionate.
“She didn’t mean to kick me. There was a horse in between us and it moved so she got me,” he said.
“I saw a bright light and went down. I must have fainted and when I came too I was able to get myself from the yard to the lawn.
“The pain was incredible and then I had to crawl towards the house to try and call out.
Bartley’s wife Tracy heard moaning and found him badly injured on the lawn, his effort to get to the house likely to have saved his life.
“I crawled around 100 metres, but I knew I had to get help. If there had been no-one home, I don’t know what would havehappened.
“It was mayhem when I got to hospital. I was bleeding internally but they got the job done down there. It’s amazing what they can do and what the body can do.
“I’m not in too much pain now and it’s just a matter of resting and getting my energy back.”
Bartley is hoping a win by his mare Sebrenco in Saturday’s Polytrack Provincial-Midway Championship Final will be a great tonic.
“She loves the wet and is a true miler. It will be like a 1600m race if the track is heavy and that will really suit her.”
Bartley won’t be trackside at Randwick, leaving the training duties to Tracy, but has booked a hotel in Sydney for hopefully a quite celebration.
The family will then have a holiday in Fiji.
“I think in a fortnight or so I should be back at the track. Not doing anything physical but just sitting watching the horseswork. Our staff have been really good but there’s nothing like having your eyes on them.
“People have been very supportive since the accident. Racing is a great industry and I’ve been around a long time. You really realise how good it is when something like this happens.”